Hatchbacks are arguably one of the best cars to navigate the UK’s roads. Their low fuel consumption on motorways and practicality in urban settings makes them a jack-of-all-trades to tackle whatever the UK throws forth. This makes their market very competitive as we have high expectations and only want the best. But how is the ‘best’ defined? Space, Affordability, or Performance? Let’s give you some of our best hatchback cars which work wonders in one or all these areas so that you can know exactly what you want the next time you switch or sell.
Named ‘Hot Hatch of the Year’ at the 2023 What Car? Awards, the Hyundai i20N brings an addictive and sporty element to an already popular hatchback. The ‘N’ in the name represents its place among Hyundai’s N-Line models, which are marked by their performance-enhancing elements. It has already won over a huge crowd of followers through its amazing design.
The exterior gives a rally-racer feel while the inside features a high-tech but deeply sporty attitude. Hyundai paid careful attention to the i20N’s design to deliver consistent and responsive performance. The 6-speed manual is very responsive and gives you an awareness and connection to the vehicle without making you feel uncomfortable or restless.
The 1.6L turbocharged engine is eager to please with 201hp while the steering is incredibly nimble so that the i20N will go exactly where you want without any wide turns or corrections needed. More importantly, the whole thing only ways 1220kg, which makes all the difference in terms of agility, fuel efficiency, and emissions. This also translates to a greater turning profile and braking performance. All in all, the Hyundai i20 N is the best if you are looking for an affordable, sporty hatchback.
If you are leaning towards a hatchback that blends a good deal of performance and style into an affordable ride, look no further than the Peugeot 208. With a future-proof engine range, the award-winning Peugeot 208 is one of the most fuel-efficient supermini hatchbacks on sale today.
With a striking and stylish exterior, the 208 takes inspiration from concept cars that we hold in awe of. Fanglike LED running lights define a unique front end, and you’d be surprised just how much value you get with the 208. From a 1.2L petrol engine that keeps it in low insurance and tax brackets, to an all-electric model that offers a driving range of up to 225 miles, there is a 208 that will adapt to your needs.
Features that you would typically find on executive cars, such as high-quality materials and multiple displays, generously come as standard on the 208. It’s no surprise why this hatchback is so popular. Check out our used Peugeot 208s here!
The Vauxhall Astra has always been blessed with good looks and solid functionality. The more recent models take this to a whole new level with angular and muscular features such as the new Vizor front grille. Head-turning practicality is exactly what you get in the Astra. A generously spaced cabin pleases all who are looking for a hatchback that is ready for any journey with 352L of boot space. As with all Vauxhalls, you can expect a consistently reliable system, and the Astra holds the standard for this expectation.
A solid material finish lies throughout the interior, leaving a strong feeling of quality for all. Geared towards comfort, the Astra works wonders on motorways and towns alike due to its poised steering and controlled ride. Long journeys are a piece of cake with the amount of tech you get even on the standard models, with a neatly situated and intuitive infotainment system being a notable feature.
A variety of engines give you the freedom to change the Astra to your lifestyle, one of these includes a 1.6L hybrid that offers 42 miles of electric range. On safety, the Astra has received high ratings, particularly toward adult and child occupant categories. So, the Vauxhall Astra is the best hatchback if you are looking for family-sized space and a reliable performer that will struggle to falter.
Peugeot has arrived on the compact family hatchback scene with finesse. The Peugeot 308 uses a tried and tested hybrid platform – the EMP2 V3, which brings a deeper appeal to an already incredible car. Combining either a turbo petrol or diesel engine with a pair of plug-in hybrids that offer either 178bhp or 222bhp, the 308 brings a fresh new look to hybrid electrification. A 40-mile electric-only range is not something to miss either, delivering a near-silent EV drive whenever you see fit and contributing up to a whopping 293.9mpg.
The 308 confidently handles the demands of any family with an impressive 412-litre boot space and roomy passenger seating. Drivers can take a relaxing approach to their destination with the i-Cockpit dashboard, bringing a great deal of advanced tech for entertainment and assistance. An impressive build quality sees an engaging and agile responsiveness, while a refined and stylish design, both inside and out, makes it difficult not to fall in love with this hybrid.
The latest Mazda3 keeps a sharp and competitive edge against premium hatchback rivals, earning itself a strong place within this list. If you crave the exclusive features of a high-end hatchback but aren’t in the mood to sink your paychecks on it, then the Mazda3 is your answer. In true Mazda fashion, the 3 combines a comfortable yet punchy drive with an interior that delights you with a high-quality, polished feel.
Why does the Mazda3 keep its premium hatchback rivals on their toes? First off, the 2.0-litre SkyActiv X engine is not shy to impress, especially with manual variants. Mazda designed this engine to balance both performance and economy and you’ll be getting a good deal of both here. Even if you choose the simple 2.0-litre SkyActiv G engine with a lower bhp, you are still given the same promises and a consistent economy of over 40mpg.
Another nail Mazda has hit on the head is its driving attitude. An exciting and responsive gearbox plays nicely with agile steering to give you unaffected direction and excitement. Designed with a low and rigid body roll with adaptive suspension, the 3 allows you to be nimble at any speed in any environment. Thinking about noise pollution? The Mazda3 keeps quiet both inside and out with a very efficient system under the bonnet.
Speaking of inside, it’s worth expanding a little more on this because this is where buyers turn into fans. It’s hard to find fault here because it is just so well-rounded. The infotainment system is incredibly user-friendly, and it is clear a lot of work has been invested in the techy side of the Mazda3 architecture. The 3 is also spoiled with soft-touch materials, tactile switches, shortcuts, and is integrated with the latest connective features into a sensibly priced package.